Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal v Liverpool - story of the match

Arsenal produced a thrilling comeback only for Roberto Firmino to grab Liverpool a 3-3 draw in a remarkable Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah gave the Reds a deserved 2-0 lead until three goals in five chaotic second-half minutes turned the game on its head.

Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil struck in quick succession to place Arsenal ahead but - on a night of flapping goalkeepers - there was to be one last twist as Firmino equalised.

Tweet of the match

"This could be end up 11-10... or 10-11. Utterly insane. #afcvlfc," Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan).

Moment of the match

Cynics have suggested it is the winding down of Mesut Ozil's final season contracted to Arsenal that has inspired the German playmaker to place himself in the shop window, but whatever the reason behind his fine form the Gunners are benefiting. With the score locked at 2-2, Ozil ran into the box, played a one-two with Alexandre Lacazette before skilfully slipping the ball beneath the woeful Simon Mignolet.

Defending optional

Once Arsenal had begun their fightback, Liverpool joined their rivals in viewing defending as optional. The Gunners were awful throughout, their midfield waving players through to place pressure on an equally dreadful rearguard, but Liverpool looked comfortable at the back until Alex Sanchez escaped at the far post to bring down the house of cards.

Villain turned heroes

Sanchez, Xhaka and Ozil - villains for varying reasons on but on this night they swept Arsenal back into contention. Sanchez continued to suggest he had lost interest as he repeatedly gave the ball away until he began the Gunners' response, Xhaka made some amends for allowing the midfield to be over-run by firing the second while Ozil's skill for the third was sublime.

Stat of the match

There were just 388 seconds between Liverpool going 2-0 ahead and Arsenal taking the lead to make it 3-2 (OptaJoe).

Ratings

Arsenal:

Cech 5, Bellerin 5, Koscielny 4, Monreal 4, Maitland-Niles 4, Wilshere 5, Xhaka 4, Iwobi 5, Ozil 6, Sanchez 7, Lacazette 7.

Subs: Walcott (Sanchez, 88) 6, Mustafi (Monreal, 46) 5, Welbeck (Iwobi, 77) 5.

Liverpool:

Mignolet 4, Gomez 5, Lovren 6, Klavan 5, Robertson 6, Henderson 5, Emre 6, Salah 8, Coutinho 7, Mane 7, Firmino 7

Subs: Wijnaldum (Mane, 79) 7, Milner (Henderson, 11) 7 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Coutinho, 83) 6.

Who's up next?

Crystal Palace v Arsenal (Premier League, Dec 28)

Liverpool v Swansea (Premier League, Dec 26)

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